Americans love their pets, and with 62 percent of us owning a dog, it’s no wonder pet-friendly businesses are a growing trend. At BirdDogHR, we’ve been doing dog-friendly since the beginning. (Just take a look at some of our many Dogs of BirdDogHR members.)
With all the talk in HR circles about work-life balance and work-life integration, inviting appropriate pets into the workplace just makes sense:
- It makes the office less stuffy
- Employees can stress less about their pets at home
- Less time needed to go home and check on them or let them out
- It gives employees the opportunity to show off some of their personal life at work
Intrigued? Read on for four more perks of a dog-friendly office (coming from a very dog-friendly headquarters at BirdDogHR!)
Improve Your Company Culture
Inviting beloved dogs into the workplace is a great way to show your employees you value their life outside of work. Here are some ways that bringing a dog into the workplace can make an impact on your employee culture:
- Less Anxiety: Lots of people with pets have anxiety about leaving them at home all day. By being dog-friendly, you’re decreasing anxiety and maybe even saving your employees the cost of doggie daycare or dog walkers.
- Cooler Vibe: Most people love animals, and allowing for dogs in the office gives the impression that your company is open to new ideas and cares about what’s important to employees.
- More Smiles: Have you ever seen someone be surprised there’s a dog in the office? It’s always – ALWAYS – followed by a smile. Not everyone’s a dog person, but in our experience with a small dog greeting people in our office, everyone can appreciate the joy of a tail wag.
Bring Your Team Together
Most companies deal with the common problem of silos in the workplace. It’s the battle against identifying like-minded cohorts and sticking to them, such as by department or work focus. But, when you add in the pooch presence, you’ll see more cross-department interaction:
- Unleash the Extroverts: Dog owners are more likely to be outgoing people, and they have more opportunities to interact because dogs like to meet new people, too.
- Encourage More Connections: Even introverts will benefit from having dogs around, because the dog’s presence creates an easy talking point. That simple interaction can lower the barrier to other conversations and increase the amount of networking among different segments of the company.
Healthier Employees Mean Increased Productivity
People with pets are healthier, overall, than those who don’t have any, according to multiple studies. Here’s how having pets around can make employees happier and thereby increase their productivity (because healthy employees miss less work):
- Better Physical Health: Dog owners who walk their dogs are more active than non-dog owners, so their heart health trends better as well. When you invite dogs into the office, you’re encouraging small breaks among employees, which has shown to increase productivity, as well.
- Build Immune Systems: One complaint about having a dog around is that they’re dirty or will bring gross germs into the office. But recent research shows that’s a good thing! According to a New York Times article, dogs provide valuable microbes that can help bolster resistance to developing allergies and even asthma.
- Fight Depression: Studies show dog owners are less likely to be depressed, and if they are depressed, having a nonjudgmental dog to care for can help bring them out of depression. See how to check in with a struggling employee here.
- Less Stress: Dogs can put people at ease. The presence of dogs has been shown to decrease stress in situations from struggling readers to tense marital situations, and at the workplace, less stress is beneficial to everyone.
It Plays Into Your Employer Brand
Your employer brand is your reputation as an employer, and when you’re a dog-friendly workplace, it gets noticed. Read our guide on how to build an employer brand. Having dogs in the office can positively contribute to your employer brand by:
- Being a perk of employment
- Indicating creative thinking and a willingness to break with norms
- Hinting at a casual workplace
- Pointing toward a fun team (one study shows dog owners to be more social, interactive and accepting)
Take it from a dog-friendly office that lead the pack in this upward trending work benefit: Inviting your employees to bring their dog to work will have a positive impact on their satisfaction. Need help driving employee engagement, increasing retention or improving your company culture? Don’t bark up the wrong tree – we’ve got you covered with our integrated talent management system. Try a free demo today!